Negative vs. Positive: How to create positive financial decisions when plagued by negative emotional experiences regarding money.
Negative actions, words, or lifestyles have a more significant impact on your brain than the same number of positive interactions. Why is this? Being criticized, rebuked, or corrected in a spiteful or consistent manner can demoralize us. And we often allow those old, but powerful words to autocorrect ourselves again and again – resulting in repetitious and unsuccessful outcomes.
Emotional baggage can derail our financial goals and visions too! Dealing with money is going to be part of your life tomorrow, next weekend, on your vacation, and even on your birthday. Facing your emotions regarding finances is the first step. There is no physical harm in facing your financial reality. No one yet – has ever been stabbed by a bank account!
Emotions can cause us to feel panicked, afraid to make decisions, to plan for the future, to ignore our problems, and take away the freedom of conscious choice. When we are worried about the heights to which we can ascend, it often feels more comfortable to lower our expectations quietly. So how can we change this emotionally charged way of thinking into a more rational and proactive method of moving forward?
First, examine which negative voices or memories are affecting your finances today. Determine how these negative fears or choices are affecting your personal life. Explore who might be a financial champion (coach or teacher) to assist you in making changes.
Second, write down a logical plan of action to follow. Assess where you are financially right now! You can’t get to your ultimate destination if you don’t know your starting point. Take a good, hard look at your income, expenses, budgeting, time, and hidden costs. See where your money flows into your life and then out. This action plan is not a time for self-judgment; it is just a tally of the financial “flow.”
Third, begin writing in a journal daily. Protect your dreams. Choose a short-term, mid-term, and one long-term goal. Life is full of extraordinary opportunities, and writing down your most profound thoughts, and goals can propel you more quickly into seeing those dreams become a reality.
These three tips can reroute your financial journey and create a healthier relationship with your money!
Have you ever been overwhelmed with life? Too many critical decisions, overthinking all the obstacles or possibilities, and a deep sense of exhaustion. This is not what you envisioned your life would be. My suggestion to you is to eliminate some of the “stuff” going on in your life and explore new ways to make more space in each day.
I CAN DO IT
Yes, of course we all want to be that perfect human who jets around the country, makes new friends, is the life of the party and spends quality time with family and friends every weekend. Just like those lovable sit-coms we see on TV! But let’s face the truth and acknowledge that maybe we don’t have to do everything. Yes, I know you could do it, but at what cost?
Studies have shown that when humans multi-task, we can do more – less efficiently! Make some space to do less and direct your attention to proactively plan and complete projects. By giving yourself more time, you get in that zone where your entire being is flowing with energy and focus. Not only do you get more done, you are excited about what’s in front of you and you are more productive.
FINDING YOUR FLOW
According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, he defines being in “the zone” as FLOW – a state of heightened focus and blissful immersion. It can’t be too easy of a task or conversely too hard, as both can destroy your motivation. The benefits are great; taking a moment to eliminate some of the distractions in life will help you streamline your activities, deadlines and commitments. Indeed, this concept can be utilized across many levels of your life: family time, the hours you spend at work and also in your finances.
STREAMLINE YOUR FINANCES
Take a few moments to jot down what is most important to you. Now list these items in sequential order. See which items can be deleted or offer little value over time. Next, think about the steps needed to make this dream a reality.
If you wish to save more, have a % or dollar amount from each paycheck go directly to savings. By creating shortcuts to be more efficient, you spend less time worrying about money and more time on money-making tasks or enjoying time with loved ones. Be sure to visit the “Tools” page for cool apps and ideas for making more space to enrich your LIFE – streamlining your finances and getting into the ZONE
Did you know that credit card debt can be harmful to your health? While it’s difficult to imagine anyone creating harm for themselves when using their credit cards, this should give you pause if that next purchase adds to a severely overweight credit card balance. In that respect, knowing how to pay off Credit Card Debt is no different than going on a life-extending diet.
Do you have an interstate mentality regarding your finances? On an actual freeway or interstate, you can see hundreds of cars ahead of you on the road. Your path is blocked, and your vehicle is moving slowly, if at all. Beware, the roadblocks you have set up in your mind tend to be less noticeable. Nobody is setting out an orange cone with blinking lights telling you to merge your credit card debt.
An interstate mentality takes place when you try to juggle payments on seven credit cards, transfer money from one bank account to another, free up expenses on one credit card so you can charge more on it while you make a payment for another card, and wait for a paycheck to cover checks you just wrote.
If you have a lot of different things going on financially, you have to stop to take a breath. Decide what is most important about paying down your debt. Credit card debt can be harmful to your health. Just like losing excess weight, you want to make your financial life sleek and slim.
Control Your Spending Habits
Slow down and make conscious choices. “I won’t charge my credit card, I’ll skip going out to dinner this week.” “Maybe I don’t need
three new outfits, and I should balance my checkbook.” OR… “Take a breath and focus.” (It’s good to remind yourself to slow down.) Learn effective tactics for dropping debt effectively, controlling spending. Don’t let credit card debt be harmful to your health! In fact, when you pay off your debt early, you reap the reward of less financial stress while enjoying more financial freedom!
The Money Nerve team has scoured the Internet looking for the top financial tools for a proactive life. There are so many choices that it can be hard to select what might work best for you. Please take a look at these successful tools that have been utilized by many people for years and continue to get kudos! We have many more links on the “Tools Page.” Our recommendations are for your use – we do not receive any compensation for presenting these options. My vision is for YOU to manage your money more effectively.
For some of us, the problem with money stems from old habits or unclear emotional reactions. Before you make a change, learn what motivates you and get guidance for more successful decisions and “Getting Unstuck!” For a one-time fee of $49.99, you’ll receive interactive exercises, short and powerful videos, worksheets and more. Try this Virtual Coach app.
Compare the Top Tools
PC Magazine has evaluated several personal finance tools and summarizes the best of 2018 for several categories. You can see what features each app offers as well as see which apps are compatible with your phone. Some of them are free – all of them are helpful. We all need different options for making the best decision. Check out the article.
Mint, A Big-Picture App
Mint was one of the first free, web-based personal finance tools to help you track spending patterns, investments and more. For quick and easy results, enter all of your financial accounts to give you a complete picture of your financial health. At last, your upcoming bills and available balance information are together in one place.
See bills and money in one place.
Get alerts about upcoming bills.
Say goodbye to late fees. With Mint
This personal finance powerhouse continues to lead the way as an excellent tool for managing both small businesses and personal finances. Starter editions begin at $39.99. From budgeting to planning for the future, this software makes managing your money a snap – and helps move you toward that next step in your life. Quicken allows you to create a financial plan, input more than 11,000 online billers, have monthly reminder emails sent to you, and superior phone support when you need help.
Powerful App for Managing Finances
Clarity Money helps you take control of your finances by canceling wasteful accounts, lowering your bills, getting you better deals, and managing your financial life — all in one place. In fact, Clarity developed a robust and secure tool that will break down your income, spending and be saving for you – so you don’t have to.
This app takes it one step further by offering insights into your finances that you can use. In the process, giving you that wonderful feeling of control again.
A New Concept for Investing in Your Future
And last, this app allows people to begin micro-investing to build their saving. Invest the way you want to — rounding up with small change, recurring deposits or a lump sum — and taking advantage of automated portfolio management. Simple, reasonable fees with no minimums, no commissions, and no fees for adding or withdrawing funds!
I hope you create your proactive life with one of these financial tools; Be intentional and build YOUR financial freedom!
Are you where you want to be financially? Visualize change! If you’re not open to change, then you want to stay exactly where you are. Truth is the truth. To change your path, visualize change to seek motivation to begin the journey. As you update your mental map, you will start to see a difference in your actions. In fact, you will be better equipped to recognize the path you are on and begin to understand and enjoy it.
The Money Nerve concept is a stepping-stone to understanding different aspects of your life. It is really about reprogramming your brain. The data you are using might have come to you when you were seven years old. You are not seven years old anymore; it is time to reassess the information you absorbed when you were young. Know that your mind is a powerful tool to initiate life changes. Mental fortitude will create new pathways for successful actions.
We have all unconsciously downloaded misinformation into our brains. We now have to consciously begin identifying our early money programming memories and work to change those beliefs. You may remember phrases or attitudes your Mom or Dad had about money. As a result, you may need to investigate whether that old information still works for you. Maybe you have already started the process of self-discovery. I am here to tell you that while the past may have influenced you, you are not doomed to repeat the same learned (and often useless) emotional reactions for the rest of your life. The more I’ve learned about myself, the more I’ve understood the impact that even the most seemingly insignificant events have had on my life. As a result, I’ve been able to push away old habits or thoughts and formulate new pathways to find financial freedom.
EXPLORING NEW OPTIONS
You will have many opportunities to visualize change in your future. You can reframe your own financial life. I believe that one of the most important ways to bring about change is through visualization. This technique involves envisioning your future as you want it to be (rather than as your current reality). You may see yourself with an abundance of money or paid up on all your credit card debt or driving a new car. If you can’t visualize how your future could be, it is difficult to believe you can take the necessary steps to get there!
Let go of negative judgments of yourself. Mentally picture the person you would like to be without worrying about how you might stop yourself from getting there. The point is not to fix yourself; the result is to embrace yourself.
You may look at some people and think they live a charmed life. Those same people may, in turn, look at you and think you are the one who has it together. I work with some clients whom others consider to be extremely fortunate, and the truth is everyone had different challenges. Here’s the bottom line: they are not any different than you. In fact, you may be in a better place financially than they are. It doesn’t pay to compare. You are in charge of your life, you can visualize change, and you have the power to make a successful lifestyle change.
Money and happiness can co-exist. And, while financial security may seem like it’s unattainable, you may simply be in need of a little perspective. The cure for being financially overwhelmed is mindful persistence and knowledge.
If you have particular financial issues that overwhelm you, surround yourself with books on the subject or go online to reputable sites like The Money Nerve to find tools and resources. If you are more inclined to face-to-face discussion, try to find people who are strong in your area of weakness.
The way to a savings account is one step at a time. Be mindful and intentional with the small steps you take; these will create great change in your life. Put away ten dollars per paycheck knowing that, over time, that will add up to a large sum. In that way, you can create a new habit. Habits practiced on a daily basis create structure and lead you to take different actions. Intentional choices with your money, your time and your energy create a fuller, well rounded lifestyle.
Financial stability may not happen overnight. By setting goals and starting the journey, you will figure out that you are only a short distance away from relief. Just put one foot in front of the other and get moving.
Turn your overwhelming feelings around:
Know where you are and where you are going.
Learn the financial terrain.
Can I have money and happiness?
Many studies have analyzed the connection between wealth and happiness. After reviewing several major studies, Melanie Greenberg (in a recent article in The Mindful Self-Express) comes to the conclusion that money is only one ingredient in our happiness quotient. She notes: Money does not make as much difference as we think. When researchers asked people earning $25,000 how much happier they would be if they earned $55,000, most people said their happiness would more than double. However, when actual happiness scores were compared, those earning $55,000 were only about 10 percent happier. So, money does make you happier, but much less than we often fantasize about.
To move us away from the materialistic aspects of wealth, perhaps we should focus our attention on what we do with that wealth –– however much it is. Wealth can bring more freedom to make choices and to determine how we want to use our time. Money and happiness can be achieved. By gaining perspective and finding joy in life beyond our finances; maybe helping others financially or spending quality time with family on a vacation –– we learn to savor how we employ our money for ourselves and others.
Make savoring life’s little pleasures your goal. Create plans for how to inject more zest into each day, and you will significantly increase your happiness and well-being — and, in many cases, your own wealth. And if your riches aren’t growing, then reveling in, and relishing each day is still a great way to truly appreciate what you do have.
The Money Nerve is proud to introduce the BizKid$ vision as shared by Jeannine Glista. This popular show explores “successful money management” at a young age. Jeannine is the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of BizKid$, a national public TV series that teaches kids about money and business.
Many adults feel that everyone else has the secret to managing money and think they are the only ones who missed the boat! But, in fact, many adults are searching for the right recipe to achieve financial success. Jeannine’s popular TV show and the recently published book, How To Turn $100 into $1 Million provides insight, humor and real-world financial info for budding middle school entrepreneurs. The book shares personal stories and inspirational tips how to start a business, grow that one-person company, run that business, and how to manage their money.
Encouraging Students to Manage Money
I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeannine, and she is passionate about encouraging Students/children to think about money, finding and keeping their first job, managing money, and learning to balance bills and spending habits.
Jeannine says, “Today’s students have an immense amount of peer pressure to fit in with their friends while being bombarded by advertising that the ultimate goal in life is to consume the latest fad and get “more stuff.”
Pay Yourself First
She adds, “One of the most important concepts you can teach kids is to pay themselves first. No matter where the money comes from, instruct kids to save a certain percentage or dollar amount first and then, they can spend their money. These paychecks can also be divided between saving, giving and spending.”
One of the major principles of this book, How To Turn $100 into $1 Millionexplores how money can open up more options in life, and that life is not about acquiring materials things. The end goal is to create a stable lifestyle. And that perspective applies to students at age 14 just as readily as it does to working adults!
Making Smart Choices
One smart tool Jeannine recommends for many parents is the app GREEN LIGHT. Parents load money via the app to a custom debit card for their children to use. It is a practical vehicle for making purchases while giving kids a safe place to practice saving & spending their money. They will make mistakes, and they will run out of money from time to time – Hold your ground! Let your children learn the hard lessons. It’s okay. Everyone makes mistakes, and they can learn on a small scale how to manage their money, even when they don’t have enough money to buy an ice cream cone in social situations.
Another tool for creating a positive mindset toward financial habits is to help children internalize their goals. Making each penny count toward something special teaches children to set goals and learn that small persistent steps CAN let them what they want.
And, last, encourage your children to explore gratitude and become more aware of the goodness of life. It can be a game-changer!
About Jeannine Glista
Jeannine is an independent media producer with a special focus on social innovation projects. She’s best known as Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Biz Kid$, a national public TV series that teaches kids about money and business. Biz Kid$ is the recipient of two Daytime Emmy Awards (13 times nominated), an Environmental Media Award, a Silver Telly Award, two Parents’ Choice Awards, and more. Her latest project, The Urban Homesteader, aims to expand urban sustainability by showing how to turn a small urban space into a modern homestead. Jeannine brings over 20 years of production and project management experience in the fields of educational broadcasting, marketing and communications.
Jeannine’s current focus is business development and product extensions including publications, commercial distribution and licensing opportunities. The book, $100 to $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!is a comprehensive guide for kids to the basics of earning, saving, spending, and investing money.
Part of planning a sound investment plan is diversifying your money from simple stocks and bonds. Let’s look at how to diversify your money with my three favorite investments.
It’s nearly a decade from the last big crash in stocks and people are beginning to wonder if the stock market will just keep going up forever. It’s a nice thought but that always seems to be about the time that the market makes fools of us all.
That long-term focus on investing will help you look beyond stock prices whether they’re rising or falling and reach your retirement goals. A slow and steady approach to personal finance and investing often leads to financial freedom.
There’s another important idea in investing though, one that will protect your money when stocks do tumble. It will also help you reach your long-term goals, but this idea will make it easier to put up with the short-term hiccups in the market.
It’s the idea of diversification and it’s one of the most critical pieces in any investing plan.
What is Diversification?
Diversification is the idea that investing in different assets will help smooth the ups-and-downs in your overall wealth, especially when stocks tumble. If stocks are 100% of your investments, then a stock crash can wipe out much of your hard-earned money.
Many investors try to balance out their stocks with some investments in bonds, which are loans to companies, but there’s a real problem here for most investors.
Bonds don’t make much money!
Most bonds earn less than 5% a year and that’s before inflation takes a 2% chunk out of the return. That’s not bad and I’m not saying to avoid bond investing but many investors don’t have the patience to stick some of their money in bonds and wait for them to protect their portfolio.
They end up getting tired of that lower return on a piece of their portfolio, especially while stocks are producing double-digit returns each year. They sell their bonds and stick it all back in stocks…then get hit with a market crash.
How Do I Diversify My Investments?
Even if you had the patience to keep some of your money in bonds, there is a better way to diversify your money(ie. your investment portfolio).
Looking for other assets, other broad types of investments, will do several things for your portfolio:
• Help you earn a higher return than bonds but not have all your money in volatile stocks
• Reduce the amount of money you need in bonds to protect your portfolio from a crash.
• Produce a higher level of cash flow to pay expenses when you start spending down your investments
Now that you have an idea of how diversification can help create wealth and keep you from freaking out over the next stock market crash, here are my three favorite investments to diversify your portfolio.
Real Estate is the Great Wealth Creator to Diversify your Money
Few assets have created as much wealth as real estate. Like the man said, “It’s the only thing they’re not making anymore.”
If you’ve only got few thousand dollars to invest, buying property is out of the question but there are other alternatives.
• Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are real estate funds that trade like stocks. These are special companies created to hold commercial real estate. They get a special tax break for paying out most of their income to investors which means these investments pay out massive dividends.
• Real Estate Crowdfunding is a newer way to invest in real estate. Developers offer their projects on crowdfunding websites for investors. You can invest as little as $1,000 in a debt or equity investment in each property.
Peer to Peer Lending isn’t Just for Borrowers
I learned about peer-to-peer loan investing from my cousin several years ago. Platforms like Lending Club allow borrowers to apply for personal loans for up to $35,000 and investors can invest as little as $25 in loans that meet their criteria.
Actually, the idea of investing in loans is nothing new. Banks traditionally package and sell their loans to investment firms which then sell the packages to anyone that needs consistent cash flow. That means pension funds, insurance companies and college endowment funds are some of the biggest investors…and that you probably already have money invested in loans and may not know it.
Returns on Lending Club generally range from 5% to 14% depending on the types of loans in which you invest. I invest relatively conservatively in borrowers with a lower risk of defaulting and have earned a return close to 10% for several years.
The best part about Lending Club is that you can automate your investments to tell the website to invest your money in any loans that meet certain criteria. Since you receive money monthly from your loans, in principal and interest, it’s important to reinvest this money quickly to keep earning a return.
It’s true that the largest U.S. companies sell products overseas and that can help immunize your portfolio from trouble here at home but that doesn’t quite cut it. Investing directly in foreign stocks can help you diversify even further by investing in companies with most of their business outside the United States.
Many foreign stocks trade on the U.S. exchanges as American Depository Receipts (ADRs) so you can buy them just as you do shares of a U.S. company. You can also buy funds that hold shares in hundreds of foreign companies like the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (NYSE: VEA).
These aren’t the only alternative investments that will help you diversify your money but they’re three of my favorite. All three pay consistent cash flow that is regularly well above that of stocks. Putting it all together in a portfolio with stocks and bonds will smooth out any stock market troubles while still providing a return you can count on.
Joseph Hogue worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs five websites in the personal finance and crowdfunding niche, makes more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job and loves building his work from home business. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and has appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg. To learn more, visit: https://mystockmarketbasics.com
“Emotions Around Money” – how does your money get sidetracked by your emotions? Some people say they don’t have any emotions surrounding money. And then they start talking about money and the floodgates open. I developed the Money Nerve concept by working as an accountant, financial advisor, and business consultant for over twenty-five years. I am thankful to the many people and businesses that I’ve helped who have, in turn, helped me.
I have spent decades sitting across from my clients—most of the time feeling more like a therapist than an accountant. I realize now that many people have money issues because emotions and money are tied together hand-in-hand, Many think they are supposed to know how to handle finances intuitively and can’t –but they are ashamed to ask for help. I see business owners, other CPAs, lawyers, therapists, doctors, and others in major financial crises. I am no longer surprised when clients come in, start talking, become emotional and break down crying. There is a lot of fear and shame surrounding “emotions and money.”
Define Your Emotions aka your “Money Nerve”
It’s time to start admitting, without shame or embarrassment, that we weren’t taught how to handle money (or that we don’t know all the answers). We need to bring our money issues out in the open and start changing our belief system to set ourselves up for success. What pinches your Money Nerve? If you have more month than money, it is time to explore a new pathway toward financial freedom.
Many people are in denial because they don’t want to deal with their financial situation. I had a conversation with a client that went something like this:
Client: I was more upset about coming to see you today than I was about finding out whether or not I had terminal cancer yesterday.
Me: Your priorities are messed up. It’s just money.
Client: I didn’t want to come to see you. My finances are a mess! I almost canceled. Now I’m glad I’m here—you always make me feel better. I know you’re still going to help me and get my mess all straightened out. I’m not sure why I was afraid.
Me: This is only about money. Do you hear what you’re saying?
Client: I know, I know.
Illusion of Money or Vision for the Future
Huge companies like Fannie May, Freddie Mac, or Lehman Brothers built their empires on the illusion of wealth. When the time came to pay up, however, their house of cards came tumbling down. It should come as no surprise that many individuals who make up these companies have the same problems. Many people’s lives are also a house of cards, an illusion.
If major corporations are having problems, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about your personal financial problems. It’s epidemic! FYI, there is no 700-billion-dollar bailout for you. You have to help yourself. Start today by creating your vision for the future. Define Your Money Nerve.
Have you ever analyzed that famous quote to see how it affects your life? Many people use “time is money” when talking about making more money. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin’s words ring true today. If you don’t maximize your time or money, you have essentially thrown both away and taken a loss.
Finding a Balance in Life
Think about a seesaw balancing your time and money. How do you approach “time and money” to create optimal benefits for you and your loved ones? Applying this integrated view may spark new ideas. Let’s take another look at this simple phrase and unpack some new options.
Grab a notepad and jot down your schedule for the next few days or the upcoming week. Take a moment to think about the time you have each day, the finances you have available, and determine if these two entities are moving you forward efficiently.
Articulate the dreams you hold and prioritize these goals so that you can start using your time and money to create a new life pattern. Setting key goals to achieve benefits your life as you acquire a fresh attitude, develop new habits and initiate change in your daily life.
Make Intentional Choices with Money and Time
Where do you want to be in one year? Five years? Do you dream of being free of credit card debt? Have you been hoarding travel brochures because you are longing to travel the world? Now is an excellent time to determine retirement goals too! Having goals generates more deliberate choices and boosts your potential for success.
Being intentional. You can find the time to get a second job or to invest in professional development/education. Honing your skills and remaining valuable is essential in today’s ever-changing environment. Determine where to adjust your work schedule to make time for family activities or the obligations of parenthood. Proactively set aside money today for a better life tomorrow. This process is all about finding the balance and value that makes YOUR life meaningful. And the most empowering part of this exercise is that You choose and You implement your life plan – it is your choice!
Goals to Change Your Life
Write down your dreams, project a time frame and you have set a new goal. Consciously choose what you value most in your life. Quiet all the negative voices or thoughts in your head. Use this outline to move forward and make a change because the only obstacle between you and your goal is time. Life is imperfect; you will make changes or readjust your forecast. That’s okay – life happens!
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other is called tomorrow, so TODAY is the right time to love, believe and mostly live.” ~ Dalai Lama
Being intentional and being in the moment are beneficial tools for creating value and living an abundant life. Be present this week, strive to maximize the time is money attitude, and live fully!